The days are counting down to Camp and it’s time to prepare. I am sure many of you will be doing some hard-core writing over the next month, but I have decided that I really need to get my butt in action and get some editing done! Oh and a bit of intense plotting! So, with everyone doing different things, I thought I should create a general checklist of things to do over the next two weeks to ensure you are ready to go when the clock stikes midnight!
Lets have a look!
1. Goal Setting
The first major thing you need to do before start of Camp is decide what you want to get out of camp. Most people decide that this time is the perfect for getting those rough drafts down on the page, for getting as many words down on the page as possible.
Best thing about camp: you can choose your own word goal!
So if you decide that this is your time to get your manuscript drafted then write it down, and don’t forget to mention your target word goal too!
But writing your novel isn’t the only thing you can do this month. No. Like me, you can be editing pieces that you already have in draft form (projects from other wrimos for instance…) and polishing them up across the month.
If editing isn’t something you want to/ can do right now, don’t worry there are tonnes of other things you can do during camp…
- Daily flash fiction/ short story challenges (I am considering doing a few of these as well… ambition)
- Poetry (1 or 2 per day)
- Plotting (I’ll be doing this too!)
Choose one (or more) goals for the month and write them down!
- To edit three short stories ready for Beta readers
- Send short stories to Beta readers
- Scene outline my next novel (More about this in another post)
- Tentative Goal: Two write 10, 500 word flash fiction pieces
2. Prepare for your goal
So preparations are extremely unique, I for one am a huge plotter so the month before any NaNo usually incorporates me outlining and breaking down my project ready to go. If you are writing a novel for camp, do you plot? Or are you a pantser that goes in with an idea and manages to write a masterpiece? Let me know!
I have several plotting and outline posts over the last few months, particularly in March!
But what if you are doing the other options?
For me, preparing for my editing goal involves:
- Printing out a copy of each short story
- Having all my inspiration for those on hand and organised
- Having my original plans on hand
- Colourful pens
For my plotting goal:
- Big paper: I like to mind map my initial idea by hand, drawing lines connect characters, places, plot points…
- Inspiration boards: I like to create these on Pintrest, collating images and posts about different topics (related to my idea that is), potential character images, setting inspiration, mood setters…
- Flash cards/ planning software like Scrivner: Once my idea is set and I start looking at chapter and then scene breakdown, I like to use flash cards for individual scenes so I can move them around and work out the order without having to re-write every time.
If are doing a daily piece goal then my biggest preparation would be to gather more inspiration than you could need. I would aim for two to three pieces of inspiration (whether these are quotes or writing prompts) per day because I always end up clustering some together…
See for these I would put them together… what if the trap door leads to the tooth fairy, who contracts the person into achieving her goal? (please don’t steal this one, I want to write it the more I think about it).
Now, I have talked about prioritising quite a bit over the last few months, but honestly when you are about to start a big project, you need to get that stuff under control. Think about it, going into the month, you will generally know how much time you are going to have and if you plan some time everyday, you can surprise yourself with how much you can get done.
Seriously, just go through everything you need to do, decide how important it is and then work around that. Work around the fixed, essential things that need to be done and move things around to prioritise writing/ editing/ planning.
4. Let everyone know what you are doing!
This has two reasons:
- It holds you responsible for your actions, if you have friends or family asking how the project is going, you are more likely to work on it- even if its just to say that your not behind!
- It lets them know that you wont be available as much through the month and that its not because you hate them (although its a good cover if you do- suddenly your working on a project like this every month!) but because you have dedicated yourself to something you are passionate about and would like for them to respect that.
So there you go, my four most important things to do between now and the beginning of camp. Go. Get yourself prepared and don’t forget to check back throughout the month for my insights and some inspiration and word count boosting tips!
Best of luck my fellow writers!